SPRINGFIELD – As the end of the legislative session nears, House Democrats have completed their withdrawal from bipartisan working group discussions, and intend to pass an unbalanced budget that looks to spend $4 billion more than the State is taking in. Illinois is estimated to bring in $32 billion next year, with a proposed budget from the majority party that would spend over $36 billion.

State Representative Randy Frese (R-Quincy) stated, “Illinois Democrats cannot seem to comprehend the fact that they can no longer spend our tax dollars without significant changes to the way we do business. We don’t have the money to sustain this type of overspending without significant reforms. For all the calls for transparency, and early agreements for bipartisan involvement, this budget was crafted in the back halls of the Capitol by the majority party without any input from anyone but themselves. The state cannot sufficiently run on money it does not have, and I am perturbed to say the least, about the unbalanced budgetary information I must relay to the hard-working taxpayers in my District.”

The proposed spending is 12% higher than projected revenue, and would push Illinois’ backlog of bills to over $10 billion, equaling 30% of its total revenue.
Budget – FY16

Despite deadline, Democrats again refuse to pass balanced budget for FY16.  The Illinois Constitution requires that the State annually pass a balanced budget in which revenues match mandated expenditures.  One way that Speaker Madigan has been Speaker for 32 of the past 34 years is by passing a series of unbalanced budgets, which have all spent money the State has not had.  He has curried favor with powerful interests and forced Republicans to be the villains whenever steps are taken to prevent the spending of imaginary money.

Strong rumors circulated on Friday, May 22 that Democrats were preparing another unbalanced budget for FY16, the fiscal year starting July 1, 2015.  This budget may get filed in the week starting Memorial Day, May 25.  This phony budget is expected to commit $4 billion that Illinois does not possess to the Democrats’ spending priorities.  Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed a different budget for Illinois and has strengthened his calls for the State’s government to live within its means.

General Assembly – Term Limits

Many House Republicans push for term limits.  Having only spent four months on the job, the large class of House Republican freshmen came together in the Capitol Wednesday to express their disgust with the partisan political atmosphere that has engulfed Springfield.  The message they came to deliver is there is no better time than now to call for term limits in Springfield.

“Illinois requires bipartisan efforts to bring about change, and as we’ve seen in the past, the state hasn’t received it. Term limits for members of the General Assembly would help ensure newer, better initiatives are brought to Springfield and voters would receive a much bigger voice away from the status quo,” said Representative Frese.

An initiative to put a binding term limits referendum on the 2014 General Election ballot was denied by a three-judge Illinois Appellate Court last August, leaving legislative action as the best alternative. With three separate joint constitutional amendments filed, House Republicans point to the onset of gridlock so early into the new Governor’s first term along with the increasingly draconian House rules as evidence that term limits need immediate consideration.

“Status quo is rampant in the state of Illinois. For too long now Illinois has suffered at the hands of entrenched politicians stifling new ideas and solutions,” said Representative
Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale). “Let the voters decide whether term limits are a good idea for Illinois.”

House Republicans have three separate constitutional amendments filed aimed at imposing term limits in Illinois:
HJRCA1 filed by Rep. Ron Sandack (R, Downers Grove), HJRCA 10 filed by Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R, Rockford) and HJRCA 28 filed by Rep. Steve Andersson (R, Geneva); all seek to put on the ballot limits on legislative terms to varying degrees.  It is expected the Governor’s own proposal will be filed soon.

“We all need to work together on solutions that put Illinois back onto a path toward prosperity, and that path must include reforms to how we do business here.  One of those key reforms must be the implementation of term limits for members of the General Assembly,” added Representative
Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield).

Taxes – Income Tax Hike

Democrats back proposal to raise income taxes by $1 billion/year.  HJRCA 26, sponsored by Speaker Michael Madigan and 46 of his Democratic House colleagues, failed to win the required House super-majority vote on Thursday. As a constitutional amendment, the failed measure required a three-fifths majority (71 votes) in order to gain House approval. After getting to 68 votes in a tense roll call (with three Democrats voting “No”), the Speaker ordered the roll call to be dumped and the measure placed on the calendar order of “Consideration Postponed.”

HJRCA 26 would have imposed a separate, supplemental 3% surtax upon Illinois incomes exceeding $1 million/year. The trigger number for this surtax would not have been indexed to inflation. The issue was also voted on in November 2014 by Illinois voters in the HB 3816 advisory referendum.

Governor Rauner and House Republicans have committed to cutting waste and reforming state government before we begin any discussion of new revenue. Illinois now has a balance of power between those whose first instinct is to raise taxes and those who believe the path to good-paying jobs is through growing small business, not attacking it.

Speaker Madigan’s tax hike proposal isn’t new. It is the same cynical attempt to create class warfare as was proposed last year, when Illinois Democrats were similarly and instinctively demanding higher taxes.

The last tax hike forced upon working families by former Governor Quinn and legislative Democrats was supposed to balance the budget and pay off old bills. That didn’t happen. In 2011, when the temporary income tax increase went into effect, Illinois had an $8.5 billion backlog of unpaid bills. After collecting $31 billion in additional revenue, Illinois still has $6 billion in unpaid bills.

Illinois needs comprehensive reform that fundamentally changes the way we do business. We need honest negotiations between Governor Rauner and the General Assembly on how to clean up the fiscal mess, and any discussion of new revenue should come after reform, not before.

Workers’ Compensation

Illinois fails to take action to catch up to neighboring states.  Sham workers’ compensation language was presented by the Democrat majority to the Illinois House on Friday, May 22.  The language was broken up into four separate amendments to HB 1287 to give House Democrats the chance to cast multiple votes against the proposals.  Workers’ compensation reform is strongly opposed by organized labor, trial lawyers and other powerful special interests.

Governor Rauner and the House Republicans continue to support real workers’ compensation reform as part of an overall agenda to turn around Illinois. To that end, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin filed HB 4223 on Friday, which contains Governor Rauner’s workers’ compensation reform proposals: a higher causation standard; AMA guidelines; fee schedule reduction; and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission reforms.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day to be observed throughout Illinois.  The day of remembrance for those who have served our country, especially those who have fallen in its service, will be observed on Monday, May 25.  Memorial Day was raised from informal, local day of observance to national holiday through the effort of native Illinoisan General John A. Logan, a veteran of the Civil War and head of the Grand Army of the Republic.  
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Randy Frese (R-Quincy) joined the large class of House Republican freshmen in the Capitol today to express their disgust with the partisan political atmosphere that has engulfed Springfield.  The message they came to deliver is that there is no better time than now to call for term limits in Springfield. 

“I don’t believe there’s a single one of us who truly understood the high barriers towards reform that have been erected by the entrenched leadership here in Springfield,” stated Steve Andersson (R-Geneva).  “The time is now to discuss this issue, while we are amidst this gridlock.” 
 
An initiative to put a binding term limits referendum on the 2014 General Election ballot was denied by a three-judge Illinois Appellate Court last August, leaving legislative action as the best alternative. With three separate joint constitutional amendments filed, House Republicans point to the onset of gridlock so early into the new Governor’s first term along with the increasingly draconian House rules as evidence that term limits need immediate consideration. 

Status quo is rampant in the state of Illinois. For too long now Illinois has suffered at the hands of entrenched politicians stifling new ideas and solutions,” said Representative Christine Winger (R-Bensenville). “Let the voters decide whether term limits are a good idea for Illinois.”

House Republicans have three separate constitutional amendments filed aimed at imposing term limits in Illinois: HJRCA1 filed by Rep. Ron Sandack (R, Downers Grove), HJRCA 10 filed by Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R, Rockford) and HJRCA 28 filed by Rep. Steve Andersson (R, Geneva); all seek to put on the ballot limits on legislative terms to varying degrees.  It is expected the Governor’s own proposal will be filed soon.

“Illinois requires bipartisan efforts to bring about change, and as we’ve seen in the past, the state hasn’t received it. Term limits for members of the General Assembly would help ensure newer, better initiatives are brought to Springfield and voters would receive a much bigger voice away from the status quo,” added Representative Frese.



Springfield…State Representative Randy Frese (R-Quincy) voted Present during the political charade House Democrats displayed on the House Floor while debating a Right to Work bill sponsored by Speaker Madigan. The bill’s sponsor and the majority party had no intention of actually passing the legislation.

Rep. Frese stated, “This vote was simply more political theater and a power grab from the same failed Democrat leaders who have bankrupted our state and hurt its middle class families. Our economy’s turnaround does not begin with more of the old political games by the Democrats. I voted Present with the intent to show support for Governor Rauner and the continuation of a true turnaround for Illinois. Working class families deserve better than the shameful display put on today.”

The fabricated debate lasted hours as House Democrats exclaimed against a piece of legislation built under false pretenses by Speaker Madigan, before the General Assembly moved on to real legislative matters that contained true content for the betterment of Illinois.

 
 
 
Representative Frese and the 7th Grade Class of Central Junior High School
 
Camp Point, IL